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October 3, 1986

US Forensic Pathologists on a New Case: Examination of Living Persons

JAMA. 1986;256(13):1685-1686. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380130013003

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


A DOZEN WOMEN police surgeons were recently recruited by London's Metropolitan Police Force for the specific purpose of being available to examine rape victims (Br Med J 1986; 293:339).

What made this event newsworthy in England is the fact that most police surgeons there are men, and job vacancies in the field are infrequent. What makes it worth mentioning here is that the position of police surgeon—a physician trained in forensic medicine whose expertise is called upon to provide information for documentation and later presentation in legal matters that may concern both criminal and civil cases, and who examines living persons as well as performing autopsies—is virtually unknown in the United States. However, it has long been established in most European and British Commonwealth and many Asian countries, and in Mexico and other parts of Latin America.

Inquiries directed to the National Association of Medical Examiners, American Academy of Forensic